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3 Practical Tips on How to Live a Fun and Meaningful Life

3 Practical Tips on How to Live a Fun and Meaningful Life

Okay, show of hands: who worries about having a boring and mediocre life?

No, your life is not as boring as your grandma’s (unless you have one of those active grandmas who dance salsa on Thursdays), but you might cave in to society’s expectations, and you may have a tendency to go for “the safe choice” just so you can please your proud and pestering parents.

And so life can get a little boring. Not because you suck, or the whole world hates you, but because we live in a world where you have to take action on the kind of life you wish to lead.

Let’s talk about how you can create a more fun and meaningful life for yourself with these three practical tips.

Begin with the end in mind

Imagine that you visit the doctor’s office today and discover that you have an incurable disease. The doctor gives you six months to live—at most—and that’s being optimistic.

You don’t know what to say.

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Your mind keeps playing scenes from your life, like you’re watching a movie about yourself—only you’re not satisfied with the ending. A sea of questions swim around in your head:

  • Why do I have to die before my 97-year-old grandma? Can’t we just swap? It’s so unfair.
  • Who will show up at my deathbed?
  • How will I be remembered? What will people say at my funeral?

It’s never fun to imagine yourself on a deathbed, but it is a necessary exercise because it forces you to reflect on what’s truly important in your life. It helps you to appreciate life, clarify your goals, and most importantly, make the most of your day.

Use this exercise from one of my favourite authors to create a more fun and meaningful life for yourself, so that when the time comes, you won’t have any regrets on your deathbed.

Choose the more outrageous option

We’re constantly told to make safe decisions throughout our lives, but there are two problems with that:

  1. Fun and meaningful choices are never “safe” (that’s what makes them fun and meaningful), and
  2. “Safe” options are about as exciting as watching your grandma ironing T-shirts on a Sunday afternoon.

When given the chance, always choose the more outrageous option, and don’t let the naysayers stop you.

I’ve often been called crazy and naive by my peers, but I’m OK with that because I’ve been stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’ve lived with a host family in Barcelona, moved halfway across the world to study creative writing (yeah, you should see the looks on people’s faces when I tell them that), and jumped out of an aeroplane.

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See what happens when you make more outrageous decisions? You gain valuable experiences that you’ll never forget. You meet people who are equally or more insane than you, and as a result, you feel inspired to live a more fun and meaningful life. I dare you to start making a few more outrageous decisions on your own. Remember, you decide what’s outrageous enough for you. Your mileage may vary. My tip is to begin small and work your way up.

As you live your life this way, you’ll soon look back at your “outrageous” decisions and realise that they weren’t that crazy after all. Instead, you’ll find yourself smiling.

Befriend your fears and move forward

We learn to fear failure from a very early age. We bury our faces in shame when we fail an exam, and blush when we ask stupid questions. We think we suck when we fail to get a job. Of course, this is a recipe for disaster: it’s exactly this kind of fear that leads us to have boring and mediocre lives.

So, what can we do about it?

Fortunately, most fears are learned. They’re a product of our environment and with a little help, we can begin to unlearn them. Think back to the last time you were scared. Perhaps you had a class presentation or a job interview. Your hands and face may have been sweating like crazy and all you wanted was for it to be over, but as soon as you exited the room, the fear disappeared.

Sound familiar?

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That’s because failure is not a matter of life and death. It’s an internal struggle; a nasty voice inside your head that tells you that you’re not good enough.

The problem is that your body responds to this voice in the same way it would fight off a sabre-toothed tiger. When you take your fear for what it is (a learned behaviour that has been internalised), and ask yourself: “what’s the worse thing that could happen?” you often find that yes, you might embarrass yourself, but it’s not the end of the world.

Be proud that you did something instead. Most people never do.

Go ahead, set sail to a more fun and meaningful life

Please don’t be one of those people who stand still. If you don’t try, you’ll never move forward, and you’ll have a boring and mediocre life.

Something tells me that you’re different—something tells me that you’ll move forward one outrageous choice at a time because you know that’s the only way to live a fun and meaningful life. So go ahead, be more outrageous.

You don’t need anyone’s permission.

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You don’t need to be afraid.

You don’t need to be perfect.

But you do need to act now. Set sail, my friend, and leave the safe harbour behind. After all, you don’t want to have any regrets on your deathbed now, do you?

What are your tips on how to live a fun and meaningful life? Please leave your outrageous thoughts in the comments.


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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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